Six months ago, Valerie Harper was ready to say goodbye. But now she has received some shockingly optimistic news, People reports.
The actress, 74, who was diagnosed last winter with a form of terminal cancer, showed striking improvement in her condition on a recent scan.
"I'd say that we're getting pretty close to a remission. It defies the odds," her doctor, neuro-oncologist Jeremy Rudnick, said in a taped segment on Thursday's "Today" show.
Harper, who despite her illness will reportedly be a contestant on the next season of "Dancing With the Stars," has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a form of cancer that strikes the membranes surrounding the brain.
In March, she was given three to six months to live. And while her disease is incurable, this latest news buys her more time.
"It's not curable, there's no question. It has to be managed," Harper says. Still, she and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, are clearly thrilled.
"Going from having three months to live or less, we're into our sixth month. And now there's even hope beyond that," says Cacciotti. "This is overwhelming."
"Spontaneous remission lives as a possibility," Harper told "Today" before learning of her recent improvement. "I think infinite possibility is beautiful in every area. A lot of stuff that looks impossible is not."
It was Jon Voight's portrayal of male prostitute Joe Buck in the 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy" that put him on the path to becoming an acting legend. Now he says he was paid a pittance for the part, The Associated Press reports.
Voight says that he wanted the role so badly he told his agent, "I said, 'Tell them I'll do this part for nothing.' " The actor says to his surprise, "They took me at my word and they gave me minimum for 'Midnight Cowboy.' "
Voight spoke Wednesday as he was promoting his film "Getaway" co-starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez that opens today and "Ray Donovan," the Showtime series he appears in opposite Liev Schreiber.
The Oscar- and Emmy-winning actor says the studio United Artists "even sent me a $14.73 coffee shop charge," for meals his last day of shooting for the film in Texas. Voight also says he persuaded co-star Dustin Hoffman to try out for the role of Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo after the two became friends doing an off-Broadway show and that they auditioned for the movie together.
Looking back, Voight says, "It was the worst." But he says he had no regrets. "I knew what it meant. It was going to give me a career, and I was right."
A Jewish group in the German city of Duesseldorf is urging a boycott of an upcoming concert by former Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters for using an inflatable pig featuring a Star of David during his show, the AP reports.
The director of the Jewish Community in Duesseldorf, Michael Szentei-Heise, said in a statement Thursday that Waters was an "intellectual arsonist" whose stage act used "anti-Semitic and National Socialist" imagery.
Waters, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is to perform his show "The Wall" in Duesseldorf on Sept. 6.
The English musician has previously rebuffed critics of the show, which has been performed about 200 times in the past three years, by saying it isn't intended to be anti-Semitic.
The inflatable pig also features other religious, political and corporate symbols.
She loves you. She really, really loves you.
Wexford's own Christina Aguilera expressed her emotions in a big way late Wednesday, posting a long letter to fans on her website - a 2,200-word meditation on art, love, struggle and transcendence in which she frames her own ideas of success in a business dominated by style rather than substance, People reports.
"I may get quiet at times, but when I do have something to say, I mean every word," "The Voice" coach, 32, writes. "I decided to share my thoughts with you at length and tell you openly how I feel."
And how does she feel? Grateful, inspired, empathetic and fully at peace.
"Thank you for filling my soul with melody and song ... lyrics and love ... and giving me a safe place I feel comforted in being brave enough to always bare my soul and come from an honest and genuine place," she writes.
On the subject of the music business, she says she's embraced her purer instincts in an industry where success is measured mostly in buzz and awards.
"Money and fame have never been the sole driving force of motivation for me to achieve what I have," she writes. "I know firsthand that having success alone is not going to fill you up. Looking back, I recall a few career highlights that are wonderful to have had the experience of but at the end of the day weren't my happiest stages in life."
She adds: "I am enjoying life now more than ever before."
Aguilera speaks of the liberating power of iconoclasm - "Be fearless enough to be a conversation piece ... Speak your own truth," she writes - and wraps up with words of encouragement for fans who might be struggling with their own confidence or artistic direction, pledging to believe in them as much as they have believed in her.
"As always, thank you for accepting me for who I am. Being human - flaws and all," she writes. "We're all made up of beautiful imperfections."
Hundreds of people flooded the streets outside a New Jersey nightclub after Justin Timberlake took to social media about filming a commercial, the AP reports.
The singer tweeted on Wednesday: "Join me & @Target tonight for just one song. Let's 'Take Back the Night.' First 150 get in. See you there!"
Fans jammed the street outside Maxwell's in Hoboken, and police used loudspeakers to control the crowd.
The Jersey Journal reports that Timberlake's wife, Jessica Biel, was spotted near his trailer.
The indie-rock club closed its doors in July after a 35-year run.
A spokeswoman for Catherine Zeta-Jones says the actress and her husband, Michael Douglas, "are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage," the AP report.
Publicist Cece Yorke said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday that there would be no further comment. A phone call to a representative for Douglas wasn't immediately returned.
People magazine, citing unnamed sources, first reported that Zeta-Jones and Douglas had decided to spend time apart.
Zeta-Jones, 43, and Douglas, 68, were married in 2000. They have two children. He battled throat cancer in 2010 and made headlines this summer when he spoke out about one potential cause, oral sex.
They're officially three peas in a pod!
Actor Josh Duhamel, 40, and Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Fergie, 38, welcomed their first child on Thursday,
Son Axl Jack Duhamel weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces, People reports.
After announcing the pregnancy on Twitter, the reality of a baby on the way set in when Duhamel witnessed his wife's first ultrasound.
"It's very exciting ... [It's] unlike anything you've ever seen. You're like, 'Wow, it's mine,' " the dad-to-be said in February.
For her part, Fergie - who celebrated with two baby showers - joked the pregnancy was a long time coming as Duhamel wanted to start a family after the first date. "He's going to be an amazing father. He's got natural parenting instincts," she told People in April.
The parents-to-be tried to keep baby's sex a secret, but during an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Michael," Duhamel hesitated before picking out a blue onesie. They did, however, manage to keep their son's name under wraps.
"Some people may not like it, some people may think it's really cool, but we don't really care - that's why we're not telling anybody," Duhamel explained.
A Las Vegas casino is seeking to evict a nightclub it says is too sinful for Sin City, the AP reports.
Officials with the Las Vegas Sands are hoping to terminate their 10-year agreement with The Act nightclub after 10 months of operation. They say the shows at the venue inside the Palazzo are so raunchy they violate obscenity laws.
Internal investigators who visited the club undercover in March reported performers were simulating bestiality and other sex acts on stage.
Officials with the club say the casino knew about the vaudeville-style shows from the beginning. Their lawyers add that sex acts in the show are simulated and therefore don't constitute obscenity.
Experts say the case shows that while Las Vegas markets itself as racy, it's actually somewhat conservative when it comes to sexuality.